Deborah's Developer MindScape

         Tips and Techniques for Web and .NET developers.

December 11, 2009

Silverlight: Wish List

Filed under: C#,Silverlight,VB.NET @ 10:29 am

Yes, it is that time of the year when we put together our holiday wish list and hope Santa has us on his "nice" list. Here are some of the accessories that I really wish I would get for my Silverlight.

NOTE: These are based on the Silverlight 3.0 release. I have not checked whether Silverlight 4.0 beta already has these items hanging in my stocking.

1) Curved Text

I was quite amazed that this was not a feature I already had. I was so convinced that I had this feature, I hunted around for a while. But several minutes of Bing later I found that it was just not there.

So why not add a Path property to one of the text controls?

Or cooler yet, why not give a text property to some of the less fortunate graphic controls such as lines, rectangles, and ellipses? Wouldn’t it be cool for an ellipse to have a Text property? And then a TextAlign property where you can define inside or outside of the ellipse border?

2) ComboBox ValueMemberPath

Yea, I have already covered this one. If you have not seen it, it starts here.

3) Text Outline/Shadow

This was another one I was surprised about. I wanted to display color names in their appropriate color. But some colors, such as yellow, just don’t show up very well. So I wanted to add an outline or drop shadow. No go.

4) Easier Editing of Chart Tooltips

When building charts, much of the data is numeric: 50 of type with ID of 1, 60 of type with ID of 2, 42 of type with ID of 3 and so on. But having a tooltip of: 1 50 does not tell the user anything. Something like "Corporate Customers: 50" is much more useful. But try to update the tooltip to something like that. After turning my graph orange (which, according to the forums, is more common than you would think), I gave up.

5) Allowing Different Colors in Column Charts

Surprisingly, the scenarios used when building the Column Chart features did not include one to show different colors, like a Pie Chart does. Rather, you only have one color for all of the columns. There are ways around this, none of which are easy and I was not successful within the time frame I had. So I built a separate series for each of the columns. Looked OK for the prototype, but won’t cut it for the real application.

6) Better Image Error Messages

Yea, I covered this one to. If it does not work with bmp’s it should either not allow you to pick them or it should give you an error message if you try to use them. I have more information on this one here.

7) Commenting XAML Blocks

This is not so much a Silverlight feature, but a XAML feature. I would like to see a new commenting character, like "//", that allows blocking out a set of XAML without messing with the internal <!– –> comments. Right now, you have to remove all internal comments in a block of XAML before you can comment out that block. With the amount of trial and error required to accomplish anything when you are first learning Silverlight, this would be really useful.

8) Expanded WCF RIA Services

I know Santa’s workshop has been busy with this one.

9) Interaction with the Desktop

This one I almost didn’t put on the list because I peeked and know I am getting these in Silverlight 4.0: Clipboard support, Printing support, COM support, File accessing and so on.

10) Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Persons

Can Silverlight do that?

Enjoy and Happy Holiday!


  1.   lyrist — December 12, 2009 @ 1:03 am    Reply

    … and 64-bit support.

  2.   Bart Czernicki — December 15, 2009 @ 12:17 am    Reply

    Your list is very specific, but I pretty much blow away all of these (except #10 of course)…Silverlight Mobile 🙂

  3.   forex robot — December 24, 2009 @ 9:35 am    Reply

    Hi, I found your blog via Yahoo while searching for something else but your post / blog looks very interesting for me.

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